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'06 Sequoia Air Suspension vs. Coil Springs


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Our '06 Sequoia's rear air springs are starting to leak which is a known problem, especially after 14 years and this model year.  Our mechanic and almost everything I have read recommends replacing them with coil springs. If we don't end up getting a new truck to replace the Sequoia, does anyone have experience with this conversion? Which coil springs do you recommend? The mechanic is looking into options as well, but he mentioned they would be progressive coil springs. How is the towing with coil springs vs. the current air suspension? Would you still add AirLift 1000 Air Helper Springs? I'm towing ~4K lbs. with boat/trailer. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Not sure on that set up but usually air suspension that auto levels the rear is going to win out over non-active suspension.  Without the air suspension you will either have some rear end sag or springs so tight that it is uncomfortable when not towing.

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We have an 07 sequoia with the air suspension very similar to yours.  Ours has 170k miles and I assume I will need to replace the airbags soon as they start to dry rot.  When that happens, I will just change the airbags with new ones.  You can get replacements for less than $200 for aftermarket and $500 for OEM and looks like a 1-2 hour job.  If you convert to coils, you also need to change the rear shocks and disable the AHC sensor and compressor.  Based on everything I read, the airbags are the part that fails, my understanding is that the height sensor and compressor typically last a very long time.  


I really like the air suspension in our sequoia, especially when towing, and I was looking for this feature when we bought the Sequoia, (and in order to get second row buckets, you have to get the air suspension).  My recommendation is to just replace the airbags as it will be cheaper and give more functionality.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Both solutions are probably fine.  My understanding with the recommendation to replace the rear air system with coils is that the other (more expensive) components of the air ride system (aka the compressor) may follow the bags over time.  That being said, replacing the factory airbags with OEM equivalent replacements would be fine, and is for all accounts a very easy job with basic tools.  

I have replaced the air ride system on two GX's, as well as completely converted the hydraulic AHC system on an LX470 with coil springs and new shocks.  Nearly any coil you buy for the sequoia at stock ride height is going to be progressive rate. 

Depending on the mileage and your current use, I'd vote to keep the Toyota system.  Those compressors if they haven't been worked to death, are really durable/reliable units.  The bags look to be under $400 for replacements.  Just about any Toyota specialty mechanic can replace them if you aren't interested in tackling yourself.  

The most difficult part of this job to me (which is about 3 hours job for a weekend warrior) was actually disconnecting the air bag connections without braking the clip.  We did this on a buddy's vehicle and we were grateful to his wife's small hands to reach up over the airbag to disconnect them.  Other than that, its as simple as pulling the lower shock mount bolts, disconnecting the breather tube on the top of the diff, and disconnecting the sway bar links.  Then drop the axle down and away and you'll have full access to work.  HIGHLY recommend also spending the 5 minutes to drop the spare tire to give yourself more room to work.  


If you choose to go to standard coil system, you can order the coil springs and shocks straight from Toyota and they will be very reasonable.  I like to shop around for dealers with the best pricing - and usually land on McGeorge Toyota.  


Your tow rating won't change at all, but you will lose the AHC automatically re-leveling the truck when you've got the boat attached.  As long as your tongue weight isn't excessive, you'll maintain very similar towing characteristics.  

Edited by Pra4sno
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Air ride.  As someone who replaced the whole system on his Escalade EXT (compressor, shocks/bags, and the air lines), it is still worth it over coil springs.  I wish my current truck had that setup, but I'm not dying for another project right now to retrofit.

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